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Nato Ag 300 v26 02laser Systems Overview

Nato Ag 300 v26 02laser Systems Overview

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Chapter 2 – LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW

2.1 GENERAL
Since the early days of laser technology, many countries supported large laser R&D budgets which lead to a rich diversity of systems, ranging from ‘laboratory’ systems demonstrating the latest non-linear optical technology to eye-safe, low cost laser-ranging binoculars. Traditionally, military interests in laser systems have been concentrated in four general areas: Laser Rangefinders (LRFs) and Target Designators (LTDs), Laser Radars (LADARs), Laser Communication Systems (LCOMs), and Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs). The nature of the interest in laser technology is, for a considerable part, significantly dissimilar for the three military service branches, and this is mainly due to the different requirements (e.g., environmental, weight/size, performance) of systems to be used on land, at sea, and in the air. Although military lasers are significantly different from those which exist in the commercial world, commercial applications of military technologies are also being exploited. Due to the aim of the present research, in this chapter we will review the fundamentals of the most popular of current airborne and ground tactical laser systems (i.e., LADAR/LRF and LTD), with particular emphasis for the systems currently in service or under development for the Italian Air Force. More detailed information about the relevant laser technologies, and a discussion of various airborne systems applications, is presented in Annex A.

2.2 LASER RANGEFINDERS AND TARGET DESIGNATORS
Range finding was the first military application of laser technology. Operational range finders were introduced into the armed forces as early as the mid-sixties, only five years after Theodore Maiman presented the first working laser. Since then, thousands and thousands of Laser Range Finders (LRFs) and Laser Target Designators (LTDs) have been delivered to the defence forces in many countries all over the world. Today, LRFs and LTDs are necessary parts of modern Weapon Aiming and Fire Control Systems. The high radiance and narrow beamwidth of the laser makes it possible to determine distances with great accuracy. The accurate range and angle information provided by the LRF in modern Fire Control Systems (FCSs) is responsible for a major advance in the precision and effectiveness of weapons in battlefield conditions. Additionally, shrinking defence budgets make it more attractive for military organizations to upgrade existing systems rather than to procure new ones. Integration of a modern LRF in military platforms can provide major performance enhancement at modest cost, particularly compared to all-new systems. A variety of laser technologies have been applied to rangefinders and Neodymium-Yttrium Aluminium Garnet (Nd:YAG) LRFs, operating at a wavelength of 1064 nm and based on the principle of pulse time-of-flight measurement, are the state-of-the-art. The advent of inexpensive eye-safe systems in the military field offers both the opportunity for expanded training and new applications. LRFs operating at 1530 – 1550 nm, based on Er:fiber and Raman-shifted Nd:YAG lasers, may be used where eye-safety is fundamental. CO2 eye-safe LRFs, operating at 10.6 µm, have been developed in many configurations and they can play a significant part in conjunction with passive thermal imaging systems and other multifunctional system applications. Laser Target Designators (LTDs) and Laser Guided Weapons (LGWs) were developed in order to satisfy the military requirement for weapon systems (i.e., bombs and missiles) capable of pinpoint accuracy, especially when the target is relatively small and well defended. Prior to this technology, there have only been two alternatives to deal with this kind of situation: either get close enough to the target to make certain of a hit or use some kind of blanket bombing over a fairly large area. Closing in to the target may be extremely dangerous and, if it is well defended, could lead to a high casualty rate. On the other hand,

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2-1

LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW blanket bombing may not be effective in destroying the target or may require excessive amounts of ammunition. Furthermore, a concern particularly important in current conflict scenarios is the reduction of collateral damage. This has forced the military into the development of ‘smart munitions’ which easily pinpoint specific targets. The LTD is an essential element for the operation of these sophisticated weapon systems. For operation of LGWs or ‘smart munitions’, a coded laser beam from the LTD is directed at the target. The reflected pulses from the target are scattered in many directions. They are detected by the LGW (bomb or missile) target seeker, which is a sensor on the head of the LGW responding to the same code as in the beam. The missile/bomb, which normally is fired from a distant place (e.g., an aircraft), will thus home in on the target and destroy it. From the description given, it appears evident that, with simple design modifications (e.g., specific laser coding), a LRF can serve admirably as a target designator and it has the added advantage of simultaneously providing slant-range to the target. A technical introduction to LRF, LTD and LGW systems is given in Annex A. In the following paragraphs, we present an overview of the relevant technical characteristics of the systems in service with the Italian Air Force.

2.3 ITALIAN AIR FORCE LTD/LGB SYSTEMS
Since the beginning of the 90’s, the Italian Air Force Flight Test Centre (RSV) has been involved in various activities related with laser guided weapons and designation systems for airborne and ground applications. Particularly, the Thomson Convertible Laser Designation Pod (CLDP) with both TV and IR capabilities have been integrated on TORNADO-IDS aircraft, together with Laser Guided Bombs (LGB) of various characteristics (PAVEWAY II and III), and a Ground Laser Target Designator (GLTD) has also been tested by RSV and introduced into service with Air Force Ground Troops (AGT) and Army Forward Air Controllers (FACs). Other activities currently ongoing, include integration of CLDP on the AM-X aircraft and of LIZARD LGB on the AM-X and TORNADO aircraft. Future activities include integration of a new generation Laser Designation Pod (LDP) on Eurofighter Typhoon, and enhanced PAVEWAY III (i.e., GPS aided laser guidance) on both TORNADO and Typhoon aircraft. The CLDP system is designed for day/night self-designation and co-operative attacks, and can also perform accurate navigation fixes (i.e., range finding). In the TORNADO-IDS integration scheme, CLDP is a non-jettisonable store and is carried on the forward section of the aircraft left shoulder pylon. GBU-16 (PAVEWAY II) LGB is an MK-83 1000 pounds warhead, equipped with second generation modular electronics and mechanical assemblies designed to provide the weapon with a laser bang-to-bang guidance capability, for medium and high altitude attacks. GBU-24 (PAVEWAY III) is the third generation of laser guided munitions, composed by a 2000 lbs warhead (MK-84/BLU-109) and a proportional-guidance system. Specifically designed to enhance low altitude delivery (hence the name LLLGB – Low Level Laser Guided Bomb), the weapon characteristics also greatly simplify medium and high altitude deliveries. LIZARD is a medium-high altitude LGB with proportional guidance and a standard MK-82 (500 lbs) warhead, recently integrated on the AM-X aircraft. The LIZARD has physical characteristics (mass distribution, mechanical interfaces, etc.) identical to the OPHER IR Guided Bomb (IGB), previously in service with the Italian Air Force (this fact greatly simplified the activities required for LIZARD-aircraft integration).

2-2

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LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW

Figure 2-1: TORNADO PAVEWAY II Flight Trials.

In the following paragraphs, after a brief technical description of the CLDP and GLTD systems characteristics, relevant information is provided about LGBs currently in service with the Italian Air Force (i.e., GBU-16, GBU-24 and LIZARD).

2.3.1

CLDP Description

The Convertible laser Designation Pod (CLDP) is a system designed to provide the aircraft with day and night laser designation capability, for co-operative and self-designation attacks performed using laser-guided weapons. The pod is equipped with an internal designation laser operating at 1.064 µm (non-eyesafe region of the spectrum) and may be configured for day-time operation by using a television camera (TV) or for day/ night operation by using an IR sensor (IR). The TV configuration may also provide daytime advantages in high humidity conditions. In its subsidiary role, the CLDP can also act as a sensor for navigation fixing including height fixing. As shown in Figure 2-2, both CLDP configurations consist primarily of two sections: an interchangeable front section containing a TV sensor head or IR sensor head, and a common body containing a central section and a rear cooling unit [1].

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2-3

the CLDP is a non-jettisonable store and is carried on the forward section of the aircraft left shoulder pylon (Figure 2-3). In the TORNADO-IDS integration scheme [2]. 2-4 RTO-AG-300-V26 .LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Figure 2-2: CLDP TV and IR Configurations.

RTO-AG-300-V26 2-5 . Commands and controls are located in the TORNADO rear cockpit. An electrical adaptor installed on the back of the centre section provides the electrical interface between the CLDP and the aircraft. using a MIL-STD-1553B data bus. The various CLDP functions (automatic or selectable by the crew) are described in the following sub-sections. The adaptor interfaces with the MC via the aircraft Missile Control Unit (MCU). In conjunction with the Main Computer (MC).LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Figure 2-3: TORNADO-IDS CLDP Installation. and the CLDP related symbology is displayed on the pilot’s HeadUp Display (HUD). real time video with CLDP symbology is displayed on the aircraft TV/TAB navigator’s displays. Pod Line of Sight (LOS) controls are located both in front and rear cockpits (Figure 2-4). TORNADO CLDP main functions are selected by the Weapon System Operator (WSO).

The system executes a start-up sequence. CLDP System Status Check: The system continuously checks the integrity of CLDP-aircraft communication.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW REAR COCKPIT FUNCTIONS SELECTED THROUGH DEDICATED SK’S FRONT COCKPIT CLDP CONTROL PANEL PILOT HAND CONTROL Figure 2-4: CLDP Cockpit Controls. In this mode the LOS is ground stabilized to the target position. Slave-Ground Stabilized: LOS position can be adjusted via NHC inputs. System Initialization: The pod is switched on via the CLDP control panel (CP) located in the rear cockpit (Figure 2-4). Furthermore. advising the crew of failure occurrences. In this mode the LOS pointing is fixed to the target virtual position. Slave Modes: The CLDP LOS pointing is controlled through direction cosines calculated in the aircraft MC. If an internal equipment failure is detected by the system. pointing can be adjusted manually using the Navigator or Pilot Hand Controls (NHC/PHC). 2-6 RTO-AG-300-V26 . taking into account the NHC demands. a specific warning is shown on the WSO display (TV-TAB). At the end of sequence the pod enters the stand-by mode. checking CLDP internal equipment status. The following Slave modes are available: • • Slave-Slave: The LOS points at the target or at a fix-point provided that the system is in Fixing or in Attack mode. Further advice of pod internal sub-system failure is also given to the WSO by mean of a dedicated TV-TAB CLDP format which can be recalled through a display “soft key”.

this function can be performed through WSO and Pilot co-operation (Pilot method) or by WSO only (Navigator method). This function is required to be executed before attack/fixing. LOS pointing can be adjusted via NHC. Three Dimensional Fixing (laser operation): Laser Range and LOS angular position are used to calculate aircraft position with respect to the target/fix-point. Pod/Aircraft Harmonization (P/A): The Pod/Aircraft (P/A) Harmonization procedure must be performed every time the pod is installed on aircraft. However. The CLDP automatically prevents the laser from firing on aircraft structure and external stores. The procedure corrects the misalignment between the CLDP and the aircraft axes. in the following modes: • • Plan Fixing (no laser operation): CLDP LOS angular position and selected height sensor data are used to calculate the aircraft position with respect to target/fix-point. Reversionary: The Reversionary mode is automatically selected if the Weapon or Avionic Bus fails.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW • • Slave-Cage: LOS points straight ahead in azimuth and 4° down in elevation. then this function is disabled and the TAC mode is automatically re-selected. LOS can be manually oriented provided that NHC is selected for CLDP use. Starting in a Slave-Cage position (system in navigation mode). Track Modes: The pod enters in Track mode from Slave on WSO selection. the Weapon Bus is shut-down as result of MC failure or Re-cycle. the misalignment in Z and Y rotation axes (vertical and transverse axis) is calculated by the system and stored in a pod not-volatile memory as delta-piIRh and delta-yaw angles to be added to the azimuth and elevation LOS pointing. Tracking by Image Contrast (TIC): CLDP performs a digital scan of the video image looking for an area of high contrast with the background. Computed Rate Track (CRT): The CRT function is automatically selected whenever Tracking mode loses “good track” or at the occurrence of a mask impingement. • Masking: CLDP LOS pointing is limited by aircraft masking effects (i. or the MCU fails. obscuration of the CLDP lineof-sight due to impingement of the aircraft body). With the Tracking mode selected. attitude and slant-range to target information provided by MC. the masking function also takes into account the CLDP Blind Cone (CLDP rear). the pod does not consider the MC inputs in terms of LOS direction cosines but it maintains the LOS overlapped to the target by itself. If the position is manually adjusted via NHC. Video/Laser Boresight (V/L): The V/L Boresight function is used to check the laser efficiency and to correct any laser/optical axis misalignment. Together with aircraft profile (including stores). using one of the two available sub-modes: • Tracking by Area Correlation (TAC): CLDP performs a digital store of the whole video image which is then superimposed onto the actual live image. Slave-Manual: LOS direction can be controlled via NHC input.. During the P/A Harmonization procedure. focused to the video centred image.e. CLDP Target/Navigation Fixing: CLDP can be used as a sensor for navigation/target fixing purposes. In CRT mode the LOS is aimed to the target by CLDP computer using the aircraft velocity. The CLDP will then correct LOS position over that area. RTO-AG-300-V26 2-7 . The correlation between the two images generates commands to move LOS consequently. When in Reversionary mode the pod is still capable of tracking and illuminating the target. Providing that the pod is in Track mode. In this mode LOS is not ground stabilized (no target/fix-point is recognized by the aircraft MC). A pre-masking function is also available to warn the aircrew of the mask limit proximity.

The following bombing attack profiles can be performed during self-designation attacks: • • • GBU 16: Dive. GBU 24: Dive. Level. Co-operative profiles can be chosen between: • • NSTR (No Steering). Co-operative Designation Attacks. in which the aircraft acts as the illuminator for partner(s) aircraft. in which aircraft is driven to pass tangent to the Lethal Range (LR) according to pre-planned Heading Change (HC). STR (Steering). Co-operative attack steering laws require that the attack is initiated respecting the aircraft to target minimum distance (break-off point not yet reached) and track angle error within the operational limits. in which aircraft is driven direct to over-fly the target. The laser can be operated by a pre-planned counter (Real Time or Count Down) or manually. 2-8 RTO-AG-300-V26 . as shown in Figure 2-5. Figure 2-5: CLDP Co-operative Attack Steering Laws. in which the aircraft acts as illuminator for the own carried LGBs.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Designation Attacks: The system allows for: • Self Designation Attacks. Loft. Level.

Tactical Computer (TC). is designed for day-night operations with LGWs and is equipped with a Remote Control (RC) and a Tactical Computer (TC) where the distance. RTO-AG-300-V26 2-9 . in service with the Italian Air Force. Traversing Unit (TU). elevation and WGS-84 geodetic co-ordinates (obtained from a GPS) of the target are displayed. and Power Cable.2 ELOP-GLTD System Characteristics The ELOP-GLTD system. azimuth. Remote Control (Fire Switch). As shown in Figure 2-6. Battery Pack. the ELOP-GLTD system is constituted by the following main components [3]: • • • • • • • • • • Portable Laser Designator (PLD). Computer Heater Battery. Tripod.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW If one or both of these limits are exceeded. the aircraft will not respect proper steering and will not perform properly the expected turn or will not acquire the planned heading change. 2. Artillery Thermal Imager Module Long-Range (ARTIMLR). Communication Cable. ARTIMLR PLD POWER CABLE COMMUNICATION CABLE TU REMOTE CONTROL (FIRE SWITCH) TRIPOD BATTERY PACK COMPUTER TACTICAL COMPUTER HEATER BATTERY Figure 2-6: ELOP-GLTD System Composition.3.

The ARTIMLR is powered by an attached battery pack. Night vision is obtained by the ARTIMLR. Northing with a manual compass. which allows the maneuvering of the system during the search for targets or their tracking. The PLD is powered by an external power source (battery). The ELOP-GLTD system functions are: • • • • • Air strike support and laser designation. The handheld TC is attached to the system components. This unit enables viewing and acquisition of targets. The TU is mounted on the Tripod that allows setting up and leveling of the system on practically any terrain. ELOP-GLTD System_____________________________________________________ • • • • • Azimuth Range Elevation Range Tripod Weight TU Weight Battery Pack Weight 360° ±20° 2. Positioning and navigation using the internal GPS receiver. The PLD and the ARTIMLR are attached to the TU. Range finding and artillery fire control. designating them and measuring their range. The ELOP-GLTD system can be carried by three soldiers and can be dismantled and reassembled easily and quickly under any field conditions. Acquisition and management of targets bank.8 kg 7 kg 6. navigation and target co-ordinates assignment (it contains a GPS receiver). The handheld TC is powered by internal batteries.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW The system is based on the PLD. The computer is connected to a heater battery for extremely low temperature operation. The main technical characteristics of the ELOP-GLTD system are listed below. The computer enables data processing.10 RTO-AG-300-V26 .1 kg PLD Designator_________________________________________________________ Transmitter • • • • • Output Energy Beam Divergence Laser Beam/LOS Boresight Maximum Lasing Rate Coding 130 mJ 130 µrad (85% of output energy) 80 µrad 20 PPS PRF (NATO Code) Range Receiver • • • Range Discrimination Sensitivity Range Measurement 30 m 49 dB for a white diffusive target at 500 m 250 to 19990 m 2 . by easy change of azimuth and elevation angle.

5° ± 0.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Sight Performance • • • Telescope Magnification Field of View Eye Protection ×13 5. RTO-AG-300-V26 2 .Wide (H x V) FOV Change Focus Change Focus Range Reticles Operating Time 8 µm – 10.2° 7.5° 45 dB for 1.1° x 1.3° x 4.5 µm 2.Narrow (H x V) .064 µm ARTIMLR________________________________________________________ Performance Characteristics Table 2-1: ARTIMLR Performance Characteristics Spectral Sensitivity Fields of View (FOV) .3° ± 0.5° Electrically activated Electrically activated 200 m to infinity in the NFOV 50 m to infinity in the WFOV Electronically generated reticle with different patterns for WFOV and NFOV as shown in Figure 2-7 2 hours with Standard NiMH battery (continuous operation at room ambient temperature) 36 mRad 22 mRad WFOV (View 1 of 2) 2 mRad NFOV Figure 2-7: ARTIMLR Reticle Patterns – WFOV and NFOV.11 .

3. regardless of the magnitude of the error. At acquisition. The detector senses laser energy reflected from an illuminated target. performed both in level and dive conditions. although the associated release envelope is narrowed and the delivery accuracy is degraded. 2 . the computer section of the guidance unit recognises the angular difference between its flight path (velocity vector) and the LOS from its present position to the illuminated target (guidance error angle). and is aerodynamically stabilised by the ringtail molded into the rear of the detector assembly housing. The GBU-16 is designed for medium and high altitude attacks. GBU-16 guidance is provided by a “Bang-Bang” control.12 RTO-AG-300-V26 . the control fins are either at the trail position or full deflection during guidance. theoretically the bomb may be dropped in loft conditions. The Detector Unit Housing (DUH) is mounted on the front section of the CCG and is free to gimbal (move laterally) in any direction. To a first approximation the detector is aligned with the velocity vector of the weapon. Airfoil Group Components Warhead Wing Assembly Computer Forward Adapter Control Canard Detector CCG Figure 2-8: GBU-16 Configuration. By adjusting the GBU-16 flight path to reduce the magnitude of this error. The detector output is amplified and converted into commands that are transmitted to the forward control fins (or canards). equipped with second generation modular electronics and mechanical assemblies designed to provide the weapon with the capability for laser terminal guidance [4]. Therefore.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW 2. When the computer senses a position error. the control fins are driven to the limit of their travel by high-pressure gas. Particularly. The GBU16 guidance system attempts to fly a straight-line trajectory from its present location to the illuminated target. the weapon can be guided to the illuminated target. Nevertheless.3 GBU-16 (PAVEWAY II) Description The GBU-16 (PAVEWAY II) laser Guided Bomb is an MK-83 1000 pound warhead. the GBU-16 consists of a forward Computer Control Group (CCG) including control canards and an aft wing assembly. attached to the MK-83 body (Figure 2-8).

The PAVEWAY III series of weapons consist of a nose mounted guidance unit and an aft wing assembly which can be mounted on various classes of warheads (see Figure 2-9). The bomb has four different operational modes. or jettisoned using the same ground equipment and aircraft systems used for employing conventional.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW 2. released. depending on the target characteristics (i. namely the MK-84 (complete assembly GBU24(V)1/B) and BLU-109 (complete assembly BGU-24(V)2/B) high penetration warhead.5 LIZARD LGB Description The LIZARD Laser Guided Bomb. The LIZARD general view and its assemblies/subassemblies are shown in Figure 2-10 [6].e. Differently from PAVEWAY II. consists of a standard MK-82 (500 lbs) warhead attached to a Proportional Guidance System (PGS) at the front end and a Folding Tail Assembly (FTA) at the rear. giving commands proportional to the measured offset. 2. No electrical interface or aircraft modification is necessary and these weapons may be carried (upon certification) by any aircraft capable of carrying the parent unguided warheads. which continuously track the maximum of the target reflected laser energy and directs toward it by actuating its aerodynamic surfaces. the GBU-24 computer unit automatically selects a suitable flight profile (from a number of pre-set profile types) depending on the release conditions. The Italian Air Force selected two 2000 pound bombs. For each mode of operation. the GBU-24 is a “Proportional Guidance” LGB.3. the weapon characteristics also greatly simplify medium and high altitude deliveries [5]. selectable on the ground prior mission. As in the case of PAVEWAY II. designed to enhance low altitude delivery (hence the name LLLGB – Low Level laser Guided Bomb). PAVEWAY III LGB is loaded. developed by ELBIT Systems Ltd.. RTO-AG-300-V26 2 .3.13 . Figure 2-9: Paveway III Family. (Israel). hard or soft) and the desired bomb impact angle. Operation is independent of the aircraft except for normal suspension and release functions. Specifically.4 GBU-24 (PAVEWAY III) Description The GBU-24 (PAVEWAY III) is the third generation of laser guided munitions that were developed during the Vietnam era. unguided warheads.

After target acquisition.. After launching.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Assembly/Subassembly 11 Guidance Assembly 1 Laser Seeker Unit Subassembly 2 6 7 9 8 PAS Canards Thermal Battery Unit Forward Adapter Assembly Folding Tail Assembly MK . The PAS guides the LIZARD by controlling the guidance fins to home on the target.e. The Ballistic Phase ends with the actual target acquisition. 2 . The PGS comprises a Laser Seeker Unit (LSU) which detects reflected laser energy (coded sequences of laser pulses) from the designated target and produces guidance commands to the Pneumatic Actuation System (PAS).14 RTO-AG-300-V26 . the LSU generates steering commands proportional to the location of the target in the FOV of the seeker). The bomb steers its way towards the target using the movable guidance fins deflected by the Pneumatic Actuation System (PAS). The LIZARD sequence of operation is shown in Figure 2-11. the bomb guides itself towards the target using tracking algorithms for flight control. the LIZARD operates in two sequential trajectory phases until it hits the target: a Ballistic Phase and a Homing Phase (Terminal Guidance Phase). During the Ballistic Phase. according to the target position. it searches for the target until it is detected and the acquisition criteria is accomplished. commanded by the LSU (i. the bomb follows in a ballistic trajectory towards the target. Once the weapon is fully operational.82 Bomb 10 Aero Stabilizer Subassembly 3 4 5 Interface Ouit Power Distribution Unit Pneumatic Actuation System Figure 2-10: LIZARD LGB Configuration. The system also includes provisions for a GPS add-on kit (to enhance guidance accuracy). At a range generally varying between 2000 and 5000 metres the LSU detects the laser spot generated by the laser designator. The first few seconds of this phase are used to stabilize all the electronics and zero aeromechanical transients in the system. The FTA is used to stabilize the LIZARD after launching and to provide the lift required for manoeuvrability. The start range to target at acquisition is dependent on laser light reflected from the target and transmitted through the atmosphere.

4 LASER RADAR SYSTEMS The term radar originated during World War II as an acronym for radio detection and ranging. longer) wavelengths so that the term radar no longer applies only to systems that operate at radio frequencies.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Bomb Release Figure 2-11: LIZARD Sequence of Operation.15 . it referred to the technique of monitoring reflected. 2. Laser radar is simply radar that operates at optical frequencies and uses a laser as its source of electromagnetic radiation. electromagnetic radiation to locate remote objects. Since that time. During the year 2003 the LIZARD LGB was successfully tested and integrated on the AM-X ground attack aircraft in service with the Italian Air Force and further test activities were conducted in the 2004 – 2005 timeframe for integrating the LIZARD LGB on the Italian TORNADO aircraft. the basic radar technique has been applied to progressively shorter (and in some cases. radio frequency. At that time. RTO-AG-300-V26 2 .

is a “navigation aid system” for rotary wing platforms specifically designed to detect potentially dangerous obstacles placed in or nearby the flight trajectory and to warn the crew in a time suitable to implement effective avoiding manoeuvres. Angular information is obtained from the beam-pointing direction.p.A. This system demonstrated the feasibility of using lasers to detect obstacles such as wires.9 µm. and providing obstacle warnings (both aural and visual) and information 2 . and the overall system was also tested at the PILASTER range both on the ground and in flight (between 2001 and 2003). In the following paragraphs.p. Possible airborne LADAR applications include the following: • • • Aircraft guidance (obstacle avoidance and terrain following). due to eye-safety and adverse weather (fog) propagation concerns. The experience gained with these experimental systems pointed out many features that were then incorporated into successive research. Semiconductor lasers. the detection and tracking ranges are much shorter than microwave radar because of lower transmitter power and higher atmospheric attenuation. such as GaAs and GaAlAs have been experimented since 1966. with typical efficiencies of 10% and 3%.16 RTO-AG-300-V26 . The first airborne prototype of the LOAS system was assembled by Marconi during this research. Currently.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Laser radars are commonly referred to as LADAR for laser radar or as LIDAR for light detection and ranging. On the negative side. further development with Nd:YAG and the various semiconductor lasers was substantially reduced. a German system built and tested by Eltro and Dornier [9].54 – 1. 2.84 to 0.5 LASER OBSTACLE WARNING SYSTEMS The first laser experiment directed towards a laser obstacle detection and avoidance system started in 1965 with a Nd:YAG laser [7].55 µm system is currently being developed in Italy by Marconi-Selenia Communications S. after a brief introduction to Laser Obstacle Warning Systems (OWSs). One of the first heterodyne detection CO2 systems was the LOWTAS. is presented. here named LOAS (Laser Obstacle Avoidance System). by Northrop [10]. Ranging is accomplished by measuring the time delay to and from the target.6 µm wavelength in the far infrared and at 1.064 µm in the near infrared. Other available technologies include 1. Tactical imaging systems (surveillance and reconnaissance). classifying/ prioritising the detected obstacles. developed in the U.55 µm (Raman-shifted Nd:YAG and Er:fibre) solid state lasers. LADARs usually operate at 10. and tested by RSV.5. One 1. in favour of CO2 lasers. 2. Extensive laboratory and field tests were then performed by RSV on the various LOAS system sub-units.1 LOAS Development in Italy The LOAS system is capable of detecting obstacles placed in or nearby the helicopter trajectory. developed by Marconi-Selenia Communications S.A. developed by UTRC. In the 70’s and 80’s.S. respectively. The various types of Laser radars and some typical airborne applications are described in Annex A. a technical description of the Laser Obstacle Avoidance System (LOAS). and OASYS. The equipment. for the Italian Military Forces and tested by the Air Force Flight Test Centre (RSV). More recent developments include CLARA. the Anglo-French compact laser radar demonstrator program [8]. HIWA. These lasers radiate in the wavelength region of 0. Laser radars are capable of extremely accurate angular measurement because of the small beam diameters of lasers (on transmit) and narrow fields of view (on receive). The former use CO2 lasers and the latter Nd:YAG crystal lasers.5 µm “Eye-safe” Erbium doped fibre (Er:fibre) laser and Raman-shifted Nd:YAG lasers. In the following paragraphs. a brief technical description of the LOAS system is given. and Wind velocity measurement (clear air turbulence and severe storm sensors). research is concentrating on 1.

the laser beam changes its orientation producing a scanned elliptical pattern across the FOV with the characteristics shown in Figure 2-14. During every scan period. so that the relevant optical axis will be oriented either in the same direction of the platform “heading” (normal flight envelope). RTO-AG-300-V26 2 . 20° 20° 15° 15° Figure 2-12: LOAS Horizontal and Vertical FOV. Furthermore. or 20° left/right with respect to the platform “heading” (to optimise coverage during turning manoeuvres at high angular speed). the LOAS allows the operator to select the azimuth orientation of the FOV among three possible directions (see Figure 2-13).LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW to the crew [11]. 20° 20° Figure 2-13: LOAS FOV Orientation. and centred on the optical axis of the system (see Figure 2-12).17 . The system laser beam scans periodically the area around the flight trajectory inside a FOV of 40° in azimuth and 30° (now being extended to 40°) in elevation.

g. Structure: This class groups extended obstacles such as. telephone cables. providing the possibility of reconstructing the obstacle shape without using navigation data. like wires. The main advantages of the scanned elliptical pattern are: • • It is well suited to detection of the most dangerous obstacles. Tree/Pole: This class groups vertical obstacles of large vertical and small horizontal dimensions such as. Furthermore. trees. the scanned elliptical pattern was selected. bridges. After various experiments performed with different patterns. It holds an intrinsically high capability to maintain the detected obstacle shape unaffected by the helicopter motion during the frame acquisition. an adjustable threshold level is also provided to take into account the background conditions.. electrical cables and cableways). The LOAS system performs echo analysis in order to determine the presence of possible obstacles and to determine their geometrical characteristics and position.18 Wire: This class groups all thin obstacles like wires and cables (e. detected during a scan period. Signal pre-amplification is achieved by an automatic controlled gain amplifier to increase the system sensitivity as the elapsed time from the laser emission increases in order to adjust the sensitivity on the basis of the expected return signal power in connection with the obstacle range.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Figure 2-14: LOAS Scan Pattern. due to the several and equally spaced vertical lines. angular co-ordinates and characteristics of the obstacle portion generating them. in order to perform the obstacle detection as a whole and determine the related obstacle shape and type. For this purpose. The “global analysis” process manages groups of echoes. the LOAS operates through two sequential analysis processes: local analysis and global analysis. • The LOAS system performs echo detection through an analogue process comprising an optical-electrical conversion. and It can be obtained with very reliable scanning mechanisms with reduced weight. for example. The “local analysis” process is performed on the single echoes in order to determine range. for example. with the related information provided by the “local analysis” process. poles and pylons. RTO-AG-300-V26 . The LOAS is capable of automatically classifying obstacles according to the following classes: • • • 2 . a signal pre-amplification and a threshold comparison. buildings and hills. These features reduce the probability of false echo detection due to the atmospheric back-scatter near the laser beam output and optimise the system sensitivity in various operational weather conditions.

which indicates the most dangerous obstacles. An example of a 3-D LOAS display format is shown in Figure 2-15. Furthermore. whose screen represents the FOV of the system. the LOAS system performs automatic prioritisation of the detected obstacles according to the relevant range data and associated risk levels (taking into account the obstacle type/shape and helicopter flight dynamics). RTO-AG-300-V26 2 . and Highest priority mark.e. Both 3-D and 2-D representations are possible. The “Safe Line” in Figure 2-16 represents the line above which flying is considered safe (i. wire.19 . The LOAS information relative to the detected obstacles are provided on a dedicated display (NVG compatible). the LOAS system can deliver both visual and audio warnings. The LOAS 2-D and altimetric display formats are shown in Figure 2-16. tree/pole. obstacles cleared). together with an altimetric profile format.. structure) of the detected objects. the following information can be displayed nearby the obstacle symbols: • • Obstacle range. For this purpose.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Furthermore. and provides the crew with timely warnings and information on the detected obstacles in order to allow the implementation of effective avoidance manoeuvres.e. The detected obstacles can be displayed in a synthetic form through three different symbols which represent the three different classes of targets (i.. Platform Instantaneous Direction of Flight LOAS FOV Centre Platform axis Figure 2-15: LOAS 3-D Display Format.

2 .LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Safe Line Figure 2-16: LOAS 2-D and Altimetric Display Format. Control Panel.20 RTO-AG-300-V26 . The main electronics components of the LOAS system are the following: • • • • Sensor Head Unit (SHU). Electronic-Processing Unit (EPU). The general architecture of the LOAS system is shown in Figure 2-17. together with an outline of the main EPU functions. and Display Unit. POWER SUPPLY SENSOR HEAD UNIT LASER EMISSION ECHOES DETECTION POWER SUPPLY INHIBIT HEAD PHONES CONTROL WARNING SYSTEM RS-422 PROCESSING UNIT MIL-STD-1553B CONTROL DISPLAY POWER SUPPLY Figure 2-17: LOAS Architecture. In the following sub-paragraphs a brief description of the LOAS SHU is given.

For this purpose: • • • The echo angular co-ordinates are determined on the grounds of the scanner orientation. The SHU performs echo analysis in order to compute range. Power Supply Assembly. It detects return echoes. elevation with respect to the LOAS reference frame) and local geometrical characteristics (attributes) of the obstacles they come from. and One discrete input signal to switch on/switch off the unit. co-ordinates and local geometrical characteristics (attributes) of the obstacles they come from. co-ordinates (azimuth. One RS-232 serial link for off-line test purpose. co-ordinates and attributes to the LOAS EPU. The LOAS SHU provides the echoes ranges. the SHU comprises the following sub-units: • • • • • • • • • Window Assembly. via a RS-422 high speed serial data link. Gyro Assembly. a signal pre-amplification and a threshold comparison (adjustable threshold). RTO-AG-300-V26 2 .LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW 2. The echo range is calculated computing the “two-way” travelling time of the scan laser pulse. Detector Assembly. It analyses detected echoes in order to compute ranges.21 . performs echo detection through an analogue process comprising an optical-electrical conversion (by means of an avalanche photodiode – APD). Scanner Assembly. Furthermore the SHU has the following interfaces: • • • • One RS-232 serial link to the PU for controls and BIT activation. Laser Assembly. One discrete input signal to inhibit laser emission. Electronic Assembly.1. According the architecture scheme reported in Figure 2-18. and It provides echoes data to the LOAS EPU or to other on board systems. and Chassis. the SHU scans a laser beam in the area around the flight trajectory. and The geometrical characteristics of the echo are determined with a local “geometrical” analysis of nearby echoes along the scanner pattern and on the ground of the “absolute” power returned.5.1 • • • • LOAS Sensor Head Unit It generates a laser beam and scan the area around the flight trajectory. The LOAS SHU performs the following main functions: As illustrated above. or to other on board systems. TX/RX Optics Assembly.

throughout the overall FOV. For this purpose. the Scanner Assembly comprises: • • • A swash mirror mounted on an azimuth turret. An electrical motor to allow the swash mirror motion.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Sensor Head Unit GYRO ASSY TX/RX OPTICS ASSY TX OPTICS Inhibit LASER ASSY WINDOW ASSY SCANNER ASSY RX OPTICS Encoders General Controls DETECTOR ASSY PSA (28 Vdc ) MOTOR CONTROL ECHO ANALYSIS ECHO RF ELECTRONIC ASSY RS422 Control Link 28 DC On/Off 1553 ARINC 429 Symbols: OPTICAL SIGNAL PATH ELECTRICAL SIGNAL PATH CONTROLS RS232 Test Link Figure 2-18: LOAS SHU Architecture. The Window Assembly allows the transmission and the reception of the laser beam across the SHU chassis. and the virtual input pupil of the detector. The Window Assembly is made with a slice of synthetic fused silica of dimensions 240 × 144 mm and thickness of 10 mm. The LOAS swashing mirror is shown in Figure 2-19. The Scanner Assembly integrates the HW resources necessary to scan the laser beam. 2 . and An electrical motor to allow the azimuth turret motion. It also allows Line of Sight (LOS) orientation.22 RTO-AG-300-V26 .

To generate the scan laser beam with the required optical divergence and dimensions. the TX/RX Optics Assembly integrates the optical components necessary: In Transmission: • • • To collect via fibre optics the laser output power from the Laser Assembly.23 For Reception: RTO-AG-300-V26 . For this purpose. and To projecting the scan laser beam on the swashing mirror of the Scanner Assembly. Change in LOS orientation is achieved offsetting the central position of the periodical sweep of the turret by an angular value equal to the required change.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW 2 1 1 1 2 swashing mirror swashing mounting frame Figure 2-19: LOAS Swashing Mirror. The turret periodically sweeps in azimuth the FOV. The composition of these two movements allows to produce the required scanned elliptical pattern previously described. 2 . the TX/RX Optics Assembly comprises: In Transmission: • • • A beam expander that collects the laser output power via optics fibre and expands/parallelises it. In Reception: • • To collect the echo return power reflected by the swashing mirror of the Scanner Assembly. According to the SHU architecture shown in Figure 2-18. and To focalise the collected power on the photodiode of the Detector Assembly. and A prism that allows to reflect the generated beam onto the swashing mirror with the due alignment. The swash mirror rotates at a constant speed around its axis reflecting the laser beam such that it draws an ellipse in space. A telescope that collects the returned echo power and focalises it on the photodiode of the Detector Assembly.

2. all integrated in a single mechanical module directly connected to the telescope of the TX/RX Assembly. For this purpose. a controlled gain amplifier and the threshold circuitry necessary for the echoes detection. and Handles SHU general controls and BIT operations. the related control circuitry and power supply. 1 3 1 4 1 FIBER OPTICS (FROM LASER ASSY) 1.24 RTO-AG-300-V26 . Telescope Beam Expander Prism Detector Assembly Figure 2-20: LOAS TX/RX Optics Assembly and Detector Assembly. 2 . All the relevant electronics to accomplish the above mentioned functions is integrated in a single analogue/ digital printed circuit board. The Gyro Assembly is composed by 3 gyros integrated in a single mechanical module. 3. For this purpose. The laser power delivery to the TX/RX Optics Assembly is provided via an optical fibre connected to the beam expander. all integrated in a single box. The Detector Assembly detects laser echoes on the grounds of the laser power received through the TX/RX Assembly. The Laser Assembly provides the required laser power.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW The LOAS TX/RX Optics Assembly and Detector Assembly are shown in Figure 2-20. the Detector Assembly comprises an Avalanche Photodiode (APD) with related bias circuitry. Controls the scanner assembly motors. and sends the relevant information through the RS-422 interface. reference signals to the Electronic Assembly to uncouple echoes co-ordinates with respect to the helicopter motion if required to compensate rotation for image presentation. except for the Laser Assembly which is straight connected to the platform mains. It comprises an Er:fibre laser. The LOAS Electronic Assembly performs the following functions: • • • Analyses detected echoes. The Power Supply Assembly fulfils the power requirements of all the SHU sub-units. The Gyro Assembly provides. received as a RF signal from the Detector Assembly. 4. as an option. the Power Supply Assembly comprises in a single box all the circuitry necessary to interface with the platform mains and to generate output voltages as required by the SHU sub-units.

Laser Assy Detector Assy Window Assy TX/RX Optics Assy Scanner Assy Chassis Window Assy Figure 2-21: LOAS System Sub-Units Location.55 µm 6 kW 2 ns 40 kHz Parameter Divergence Optical Diameter Description Laser beam divergence at the “Window Assembly” output Diameter of the virtual input pupil of the detector (i. the TX/RX Optics Assembly. The Chassis is designed in such a way that all the optical sub-units are allocated in a sealed environment filled with nitrogen gas to avoid condense effect.e. the Scanner Assembly and the Window Assembly inside the Chassis are shown in Figure 2-21.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW The Chassis is realised by a casting aluminium mechanical envelope that encloses and protect all the SHU sub-units. The CAD representation of the SHU Chassis and the location of the Laser Assembly. the area in which the collected power from the echo is transferred to the detector) Transmission coefficient (Pin/Pout) of the “Window Assembly” Value 1 mrad 85 mm Window Transmission 0. the Detector Assembly..99 RTO-AG-300-V26 2 .25 . Table 2-2: LOAS Laser Parameters Parameter Wavelength Peak Power Pulse Duration Frequency Description Laser emission wavelength Laser pulse power at the “Laser Assembly” output Laser pulse duration Laser pulse repetition frequency Table 2-3: LOAS Optical Parameters Value 1. Some relevant electro-optical parameters relative to the various LOAS sub-units are listed in the Table 2-2 through Table 2-4.

but it varies in time with the gain. 400 ms).99 0. Provides the warning information to the Display Unit. The value stated in Table 2-4 is applicable to 40% of the scanning time (i. arising from the stated values concerning false alarm rate and detection probability.5.26 LOAS Electronic Processing Unit Functions Interfaces with the SHU via serial link in order to acquire the information related to echoes co-ordinates and attributes. 2. Therefore. As described before. isolate and calculate position and characteristics of potential obstacles.5 mrad 20 nm The noise value stated in Table 2-4 was calculated assuming a background power of 10 Watt/m2/sr/µm. For the remaining 60% of the scanning time the noise is so low with respect to the expected return power that it can be considered negligible for the computation of the false alarm rate. which are strictly dependent on the processing algorithms of the Processing Unit.1.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Parameter Scanner Transmission TX Optics Transmission RX Optics Transmission Description Transmission coefficient (Pin/Pout) of the “Scanner Assembly” Transmission coefficient (Pin/Pout) of the TX optical path of the “TX/RX Optics Assembly” Transmission coefficient (Pin/Pout) of the RX optical path of the “TX/RX Optics Assembly” Table 2-4: LOAS Detector Parameters Value 0.63 Parameter Detector Noise Description Equivalent optical noise power including the optical background noise and the photodiode and preamplifier electrical noise Electrical bandwidth of photodiode and relevant preamplifier of the “Detector Assembly” Instantaneous field of view in which the laser power of a given echo is collected and transferred to the photodiode of the “Detector Assembly” Bandwidth of the optical filter of the detector centred at the laser emission wavelength Value 1. the electrical noise of the pre-amplifier is not a constant value.2 nW Detector Bandwidth Detector Field of View Detector Filter Bandwidth 160 MHz 1.98 0. RTO-AG-300-V26 The LOAS EPU performs the following main functions: . It also has to be considered that any calculation.e.. Processes the acquired information in order to detect. only refers to single echoes and not to the overall performance of the system in terms of obstacle detection and false alarm delivery to the crew. signal pre-amplification in the Detector Assembly is performed by an automatic controlled gain amplifier that increases the system sensitivity as the elapsed time from the laser emission increases. Computes display information and symbols data.2 • • • • 2 . in order to adjust the sensitivity on the basis of the expected return signal power in connection with the obstacle range.

is performed at a lower rate and manages groups of pre-processed echoes in order to achieve. three algorithms have been developed for incorporation in the LOAS EPU: • • • Calculation of future trajectory. and Manages BIT procedures of the system. More details the ground and flight test activities performed with the LOAS system are given in the Chapters 8 and 9. the second is optimised to process all echoes generated by extended obstacles. a system able to discriminate the most dangerous obstacles and to supply the relative information to the pilot is required. obstacle detection/classification is performed through an analog detection of the echoes and two successive analysis processes. named “Pre-processing”. For this reason. LOAS Processing Algorithms • • 2. The first process. RTO-AG-300-V26 2 . to analyse the information received by the SHU and to communicate the warning information to the Display Unit. These algorithms identify the boundaries of the obstacles. the LOAS anti-collision system performs obstacle detection based on the laser radar technique. like wires and poles. it may be difficult to control them for the pilot. by a two step analysis.4 Obstacle Detection and Classification Algorithms As described before. detects the position of every potential obstacle in the environment where the helicopter is moving. Manages communication data with other on-board equipment. is performed at a very high rate during the echo acquisition in order to obtain single-echo specific data and to characterize it on the basis of local range contrast analysis with respect to nearby echoes. The experimental results obtained allowed both verification and refinement of the processing performance. To validate the algorithms.3 In an obstacles detection and warning system. The EPU is realised integrating in a standard 3/8 ATIR (short) mechanical frame all the electronic subassemblies necessary to implement the functions described above. The scanner system. with many obstacles in the field of view of the warning system. trees.5.1. like houses. The LOAS incorporates two different types of processing algorithms: the first is optimised to process echoes generated by thin objects. Particularly. To solve this problem. there is the need to provide the pilot only with the essential information. a simulation environment and actual flight tests were performed. Interface Assembly: This assembly comprises the circuitry necessary for the electrical interface of the system and for data communication to external equipment. named “Processing”. the final obstacle recognition and classification [12]. Once the echoes energy has been optically collected.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW • • • Interfaces with the Control Unit in order to receive commands and controls provided by the Operator. Calculation of intersections with the obstacles. 2.5. in fact. and Determination of alternative (optimal) trajectory. woods and other solid objects. Power Supply Assembly: This assembly comprises the circuitry necessary to fulfil all the DC requirements of the EPU. additional geometrical criteria allow to distinguish “wire-class”. In a generic scenario. The second process. the EPU comprises the following sub-assemblies: • Processing Assembly: This assembly comprises the logic circuitry necessary to control the system.1.27 .

28 RTO-AG-300-V26 . the LOAS processing algorithms make use of image and data segmentation and data validation [11]. With commands available in the LDI. the different clusters must be validated. An initial geometric analysis is performed on pre-processed data to initially separate wire class obstacles and tree/pole obstacles. The echoes with pre-processing “extended object” attributes need to be processed by a dedicated selection algorithm because many of these are not generated by real extended obstacles. The results of the developed processing algorithms were tested with experimental data. A well-defined number of echoes. Also the algorithm dedicated to classification of extended objects is divided in two different steps: echoes classification and segmentation. It processes only the echoes whose attributes. acquired in a short time interval. the user could change the key parameters defining the processing algorithms. are “weak echo” and “thin object”. In order to perform their tasks. conceived and optimised for the scanned elliptical scanning pattern described before. defined by the pre-processing algorithms. and then displayed/analysed with the LOAS Debugging Interface (LDI). the data are passed to the segmentation algorithm. This means that the detected echoes are processed by a statistical algorithm to determine if the obstacles are generated by real “aligned” echoes or by noising data. Image segmentation is the process of dividing the image into areas where the echoes are characterised by relatively “aligned” range data and possible thin obstacles are extracted from this subset of data. have some common geometric characteristics which can be extracted. With this additional information. Figure 2-22: LOAS Three Levels Processing Algorithms. The thin-object classification algorithm (for wire and tree/pole classes of objects) works on a subset of echoes of the current frame.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW “tree/pole class” and “extended class” obstacles. Figure 2-22 shows the three levels of processing algorithms. so that 2 . where the different clusters are rearranged and validated with suitable statistical algorithms [11]. After image segmentation. acquired with a sensor prototype.

An example of the debugging interface is shown in Figure 2-23. three algorithms have been implemented: calculation of future trajectory. with the helicopter flying in various relevant operational scenarios. This simulation environment (see Figure 2-24) allowed direct input of the relevant obstacles and helicopter flight parameters. and obstacle prioritisation [11]. and permitted to visualise. A three-dimensional simulation environment was required to test and refine the performance of these algorithms. calculation of possible intersections with obstacles. the scene scanned by the laser.loa Figure 2-23: LOAS Data Analysis Debugging Interface. The LOAS system. Furthermore. LOAS Image Reader .LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW their optimal values could be determined observing the experimental results.C:\Loas\Test\Database\test270400. thanks to the flight test activities performed on helicopters. In a generic scenario.5. in fact. there is also the problem of providing only essential information to the pilot. with many obstacles in the field of view of the warning system.29 . To solve this problem. a system able to discriminate the most dangerous obstacles and to supply the relative information is required. it may be difficult for the pilot to monitor all of them. detects the position of every potential obstacle in the environment where the helicopter is moving. RTO-AG-300-V26 2 . from different points of view. 2. For this reason. Processing experimental data collected on the ground. and to verify the possible intersections with the obstacles [12]. it was initially verified that the algorithms were capable of detecting and classifying the different obstacles. the helicopter motion.1. the key parameters were definitively set and optimised.5 Obstacle Prioritisation Algorithms In a laser obstacle detection and warning system.

and deletes them when they are outside the helicopter possible trajectories (outside its flight envelope).LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW Figure 2-24: LOAS Simulation Environment. When the impact warning processing establishes that the trajectory currently flown by the aircraft has a collision risk. July 2001. and Richardson. LSA 95/086. RTO-AG-300-V26 2 . The optimal trajectory is the one having the minimum correction (necessary to avoid the obstacles) and which is compatible with a safe flight path. To do so. Ed. The LOAS History Function stores data relative to the detected obstacles for a time interval which is dependent on helicopter velocity. “System Integration and Flight Testing of a Laser Designation Pod and Laser-Guided Bombs on the Italian Interdiction Strike Aircraft”. Journal of Battlefield Technology (Vol.6 LOAS History Function Due to the restricted system field of view. Since the motion data supplied from the navigation system are. “Convertible Laser Designation Pod Technical Description”. To keep obstacles information when they are outside the present frame. 2.5.1. 4 – N° 2). M. and provides the pilot with an indication about the alternative (optimal) direction to fly [11]. it is necessary to evaluate how these errors affect the positions calculated for every obstacle. affected by errors. like every measure. it is necessary to store the position of every object detected and then update the co-ordinates with respect to the helicopter body-fixed reference system.6 REFERENCES [1] [2] THOMSON-CSF Optronique. during helicopter motion some information acquired in the previous frames may be lost successively.. the algorithm searches the corrections necessary to avoid the obstacles. Sabatini. 1995. Doc.30 . 2. [12]. R. appropriate Gaussian errors are added to every data and the statistics of the resulting position errors are calculated for obstacles near and far from the aircraft.

“LOAS Technical Specification”. and Branigan. R. 1995.G.M. Doc. [11] Marconi Communications Systems. E. ELBIT Industries. S. R. 2001. “Paveway III System Description”. and Minisclou.L. “LIZARD Technical Manual”. 1986. NATO RTO-SET Symposium “Complementarity of Ladar and Radar”. K.. 2001. “An Optical Radar System for Obstacle Avoidance and Terrain Following”. 1995. Ed. 1999. Ed. Ed. 1995. Raytheon Industries.. Raytheon Industries. Ed. Army Helicopters”. “The Anglo-French Compact Laser Radar Demonstrator Programme”. and Roviaro. [10] Holder. TM-8335-0060-90. RTO-AG-300-V26 2 .S. W. and Eibert. 1994.31 . “Paveway II System Description”. Büchtemann. G. Hogg. C. “Laser Based Obstacle Warning Sensors for Helicopters”.M. 22-23 April 2002. Public release version. Kellington.. AGARD CP-148.. S. Prague (Czech Republic). [12] Sabatini. M.LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] ELOP Electro-optics Industries. “Development of a Laser Collision Avoidance System for Helicopters: Obstacle Detection/Classification and Calculation of Alternative Flight Paths”. AGARD-CP-563. Public release version. PLD SYSTEM “Operation and Operator Level Maintenance Technical Manual for the Italian Armed Forces”. AGARDCP-563. AGARD-CP-563. 1999... Harrison. “Development and flight testing of an Obstacle Avoidance System for the U.

LASER SYSTEMS OVERVIEW 2 .32 RTO-AG-300-V26 .

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